Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018 – 11:30 a.m.
Appalachian Power is planning its response to Hurricane Florence, currently a Category 4 storm expected to make landfall in the Carolinas this Friday. Forecast models continue to indicate Florence could bring strong winds and heavy rain into Appalachian Power’s service area through this weekend.
Storm Preparation Efforts
Appalachian Power continues to monitor the storm’s track closely, and has a plan in place to move employees and contractors into areas likely to experience damage and outages from the hurricane. AEP crews from Ohio, Indiana and Michigan are ready to assist, if needed.
Planning for the storm includes securing staging areas for crews, as well as lodging and other logistical support. We are also putting together contingency plans for facilities in areas where flooding issues may arise. Adjustments will be made if the projected path and intensity of the storm shifts.
Flooding and high winds are concerning characteristics of this storm because they could hamper our ability to respond. We cannot safely make repairs while trees and limbs are still falling, and cannot safely work from buckets or on poles in winds greater than 40 mph.
Appalachian Power operates 6 hydroelectric dams on the New and Roanoke rivers in Virginia. Our hydro operations staff has been monitoring the storm and adjusting reservoir levels to make way for heavy rains in the watersheds. They will continue to monitor forecasts and adjust operations accordingly. Lakeside property owners are urged to secure docks and shorelines in the event of flooding.
Currently we are holding resources in anticipation of damage within our service area. Appalachian Power reliably helps other utilities in times of need, and we anticipate being able to do so with this storm once service to customers within our own service area is secure.
For More Information
This update provides a broad overview of the company’s planning efforts. Customers can get specific information about the outages affecting their accounts via text message and/or email by subscribing to Appalachian Power outage alerts. To sign up, please visit www.appalachianpower.com/alerts.
Appalachian Power hydro plant water levels and flows can be monitored at www.aep.com/environment/conservation/hydro/. Specific project information is available at www.SmithMountainProject.com , www.ClaytorHydro.com , and their social media sites.
Report an outage, check outage status, manage your accounts, enroll in paperless billing, and more by downloading the Appalachian Power mobile app at www.AppalachianPower.com/App.
A snapshot view of current outages is available anytime at www.appalachianpower.com. Go to the Outages and Problems section of the site and click “View Outage Map.”
If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground. Flash floods are the number one cause of weather-related deaths in the United States. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
Additional safety tips are posted at https://www.appalachianpower.com/outages/faq/OutageSafetyTips.aspx
Next Update: Thursday, Sept. 13 at 10 a.m.